Taiwan and China: Differences You Should Know | TAMKO

Taiwan and China: Differences You Should Know

June 12, 2017

Author Youhsuan

Tourists traveling abroad from Taiwan and China have been increasing recently. In Japan, businesses from a range of industries have started putting more effort into inbound tourism marketing to attract them. Confusing these two different markets as being really similar is common, however.


True, Taiwan and China both use Chinese and have similar cultural backgrounds, but when it comes to marketing, even the little differences matter. Let us show you some of the differences.


First off, their writing is different.


Simplified and Traditional
Do you know there are 2 styles of Chinese words? In Taiwan (and also Hong Kong), people use the traditional style, while in China, they use simplified Chinese.


Nice to meet you!
Simplified ▶ 初次见面
Traditional ▶ 初次見面


What time is it now?
Simplified ▶ 现在几点了
Traditional ▶ 現在幾點了


Word Meanings
Just like how the UK and the US have different ways of spelling or definitions of the same word, the same problem exists here.


小姐 (Pronounced: Xiao ze)
Taiwan ▶ young lady
China ▶ hooker


工讀生 (Pronounced: Gon Du Sen)
Taiwan ▶ part-time student
China ▶ juvenile


Keep in mind that when you create ads for these markets, some words can give your message the opposite meaning of what you’ve intended. If you aren’t sure about what the word means, check with a local.


Also, due to the past conflicts between Taiwan and China, Taiwanese will not reject being treated as if they were Chinese. We all know that when we try to sell something to someone, it is important to prove our worth as a good partner.


Next, we will show you the complete difference in what users in each market uses online.


China: Baidu (90%)
Taiwan: Google (80%), Yahoo! (20%)


Messenger App
China: WeChat (85.5%)
Taiwan: Line (91%) 


Social Networks
China: Weibo (85.5%)
Taiwan: Facebook (78.2%), Instagram (51%)


Due to the restrictions in China, their digital market has its own unique services, while Taiwan is closer global services that many of us are familiar with (Google, Instagram, YouTube, etc.).


Are you a little clearer about the differences between Taiwan and China now? When you are considering approaching these two markets, be careful and approach them as completely individual markets.